Yellow Chair, by Alethea Ballard, 2009
Yellow Chair was the third or fourth chair that I made. It has a secret! It’s backward.
If you compare it to the other chairs, you’ll see that the right arm is the larger one. When you make the chairs according to the pattern, left is the larger one. Unless…
I had been using glue stick on the back of the pattern pieces, which is really quick and easy, but it leaves the edges to their own naughty devices. Sometimes the edges fray a little and get a little hairy. At this point you can either leave them or give them a hair cut.
Yellow Chair detail
For this chair I had found an amazing fabric for the background, and I loved how it looked with the large flower motif in the fabric.
I decided to be super clever and use fusible web for this chair. I traced the pattern pieces on to the back of the fusible and went on my merry way. And the whole chair came out backwards, as the fusible process is usually done in reverse.
For a long time I really didn’t like this chair, just because it looked wonky to me. Also, there is a little bit of blue on the left arm that makes it look like it is part of the background and that bothered me, too.
A shadow behind this chair would have helped set the chair apart from the background. In retrospect, I am glad I didn’t put one in, as it would have diminished the painterly feel of the quilt.
Several people had told me that this was their favorite, and I would dismiss them. “Oh, I don’t like it,” I would say. It’s my failure.
This week when I was looking for a chair for the Dream Chair Corral, I was struck when I saw the photos of the Yellow Chair. I really liked it!
When I look at this quilt now, I love the colors and the amazing stitching. I love the borders and the cool binding. The apricot-colored flowers are a lovely contrast to the cool colors in the chair and the background, and that color is picked up again in the versatile Kaffe Fasset-designed stripe. I am delighted to see different cuts of the blue and yellow flower fabric, featured in the chair’s back, throughout the borders.
Yellow Chair right side detail
Sometimes, when I finish a quilt, I have been looking at it for so long that I’ve reached a visual saturation point. A break from the quilt is sometimes needed in order to appreciate what one has created.
Ultimately, I think I forgive this chair for being wonky. And I find I really like it!
I think that we, as artists, can be very hard on ourselves and we need to stay kind, supportive, and forgiving.
Yellow Chair back view